Monday, January 10, 2011

A Tea Party for Small One

I must confess,I nearly set this pattern aside to wait for the baby to grow, as it only goes to a size 5. I made Small One a Bubble Dress ,in size 5, twelve months ago,and she only wore it twice before it was too short.
oliver+S Bubble dress size 5
I assumed the size 5 Tea Party Dress would be the same.
However, Small One is not a child to be gainsaid. It came with bloomers, she pointed out, therefore if  it was too short as a dress it would be a lovely 2 piece. I agreed,and consoled myself that it would hand down to Little One.
I was wrong , she was right! With a little extra length added to the bodice top and hem, it is perfect!
I made it up in the lovely City Weekend by Liesl Gibson , the equally lovely designer of oliver+S patterns. The fabric is so light and fine I decided to fully line the dress to stand up the wear and tear my deceptively delicate looking daughter would put it through.

The two skirts right sides together
I used a cotton rich poplin for the lining as it will need little ironing. I cut out a skirt from the dress fabric and one from the poplin followed the instructions to sew them and then placed them right sides together and attached them at the hem with an 1/2 inch seam.

Double row of stitching for strength
I double stitched this seam and trimmed closely and then turned them with right sides out.
The sewn edge
 I rolled the hem slightly so that there wasn't any lining showing and then topstitched the bottom.

Wanting a 'seam free' finish, I then attached the skirt lining to the inside of the bodice and stitched this in place using the piping stitch line as a guide.
The lining attached to the inside bodice
Using an O+S trick, I stitched a basting line on the skirt top as seam guide and then lightly pressed the allowance in place.
The basting stitch as a fold line guide
With lots of pins and patience and matching my centre front and side seams, I pinned the skirt in place  covering the raw seams. This was probably the most time consuming bit but it still only took twenty minutes or so.
I have since decided it is easier to top stitch the bodice to the skirt as here

The skirt pinned in place
I then slowly topstitched easing the fabric as I sewed. I ended up with a tiny tuck at each under arm, but I can live with that. I must have stretched the skirt slightly at some point. 

Birdy buttons
I finished up by adding some gorgeous painted mother-of-pearl buttons which pick up the blue piping and the tiny blue fleck in the centre of the flowers. I decided to swap the shoulder tabs and have the round edge showing due to the large buttons.
Tea Party dress and bloomers
Bloomers made from the same fabric as the piping finish the look.



  1. Flattery will get you every where Justine!

  2. Amazing! This one is by far my favorite.

  3. You are my HERO(INE)! I wish every O + S item came with a 'fully lined' option.

  4. Thankyou!
    Oh Sarvi, a challenge! I do like a lined garment, they seem to last longer,hang better and the joy of a perfect interior!

  5. Beautiful as always, and thanks for the tutorial!!

  6. Your attention to detail is fabulous - I just don't know how you get things done so quickly!

  7. My pleasure Claire!(Thankyou so much for talking me into this, I love it)
    Thankyou Karen, time is always a problem,isn't it?

  8. Came via Flickr, and I'm glad I did, you have demonstrated the lining process so well. I'm always looking for 'seam-free' finishes too, and I know there's often quite a bit of 'figuring out' to do, but I just love a neat inside! Great to see you blogging :-)


  9. I just realised you are nicole 1974 on flickr!

    Welcome to blogging, and looking forward to seeing many more of your gorgeous creations!

  10. Thanks Angela, and thankyou for all your help contacting Peta. Your my hero!
    Thats me, Little Munchkins!
    Thankyou for your encouragement.

  11. That's a nice way to do a lining. I usually let a lining skirt hang free, but this makes more sense for playing. You could use this to add warmth to something too. The hem top stitching here makes good sense and looks nice. (to continue from our forum discussion.)

  12. Thank you Melanie,this is definitely a play dress,so the sturdier the better!

    I do remember fondly hand sewing my sons baby clothes,there is a romance that goes with it.

    X N